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Why is Pepsi’s Workplace Wellness Program is not so well?

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At the turn of the year we learned that PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP) gave themselves low marks in review of their workplace wellness programs success. This evaluation, published in the Journal Health Affairs, put forth findings that may not be good news for those who advocate for workplace wellness programs.

Long and short - they didn’t save as much money as they thought! One significant function of workplace wellness programs that makes them truly invaluable to companies is that they can save the employer money by decreasing absenteeism, reducing medical costs, and supporting employees in living healthier lifestyles.

Pepsi’s 'Healthy Living Program' Evaluation discusses how they didn’t see desired results on the “lifestyle management component" (includes risk assessments, behavioral interviewing, distribution of education/wellness materials, & telephone sessions with a wellness coach) of their program. This also includes lack of participation in “lifestyle management interventions” made available to employees.

But there is a silver lining. The “Disease Management Component” of their programs did see success. Healthcare savings of $136 per member per month, a 29% reduction in hospital admissions, and support on simple proactive measures to control health conditions all brought a substantial return on investment to the company.

Although Workplace Wellness Programs are a billion dollar industry these programs are in a constant state of evolution. Organizational Culture, Employee wages, nature of the work being done, & and the workplace environment just a few items that can impact the engagement & success of wellness programs. Some companies meet more success than others but even this little bit of good news presented by Pepsi’s study demonstrates their value to the employee and the employer (Reuters, 2014)

Activity-Centered vs. Results Centered

Thinking about or maybe developing your company’s workplace wellness program? Keep these two perspectives in mind and plan accordingly.

Activity Centered Approaches?

  • Activities are your central focus; Incorporate simple activities
  • Plan a schedule to acknowledge health observances
  • Engage employees and monitor success of participation & enthusiasm

Results Centered Approaches?

  • Recognized as the way to go when you want tangible results
  • Making formal measures to improve health & increase workplace productivity
  • Use success and progress as a tool to support motivation & retention (WELCO, 2014)

Be healthy at work this January

Here are your AWE January Wellness Tips for being healthy while you work hard this January.

  • Eat Breakfast at Home”: Sit down when you do it!; Try to make your dishes fresh
  • “Reduce coffee intake”: Go light on the extras (sugar, cream, etc.), consider Tea as an alternative
  • “Drink more water”: Remember 8 glasses a day; schedule your 8 ounces as a reminder
  • “Distribute Meals”: Don’t have a heavy lunch; challenge yourself to try 5 meals a day (3 main, 2 mini, keep it healthy
  • “Eat well for lunch”: try not to skip; keep yourself in check by bringing your own.
  • “Bring healthy snacks from home”: guilt free munching (!); they’ll help you fight DTT (drive thru temptations) Visit Fitday.com for daily inspiration to be and eat healthy!

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